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Messages - jm

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1 / Foreign tax identifying number
« on: January 17, 2015, 03:02 »
Hello to all,

I just received this email:

Dear Author,
During 2014 the Internal Revenue Service changed the rules and began requiring a tax id number (TIN) in order for a person being paid for US Source Income to qualify for reduced withholding rates due to tax treaties between our respective countries. With a valid TIN the withholding is to be at the tax treaty rate. Without the TIN the withholding is to be at the default 30% rate. The tax treaty rates vary from 0% to about 10%, so that is a very significant improvement over the 30% default rate.
For 2015 we will have to follow these rules for all payments; payments to persons without a TIN on file will have withholding at 30%. For 2014 we still have about a month before we have to report the payments, so it is not too late to do something about it. Please provide us with the Tax ID you use for reporting in your country. Better yet would be a US Tax ID, we recommend you apply for one because it may be required in the future. Please provide your local Tax ID immediately so we can include it in our 2014 reporting; it will be required for 2015 payments in order to avoid the 30% withholding rule.  Please use the  "My Tax Form" link under your account at

I don't know what am I supposed to do. Many of us do not have any Tax ID as we don't need it for tax purposes in our countries. And W-8BEN forms states "7. Foreign tax identifying number, if any (optional)".
It has not been requested by any other agency so far. I know that 30% of few dollars made on FeaturePics are not worth mentioning. However -  will other agencies require Tax ID soon or is it FP's nonsense?


2 / Re: Shutterstock Payment - December
« on: January 03, 2015, 14:46 »
Thank you.
My sincerest apologies to those who think that my question is silly.

3 / Shutterstock Payment - December
« on: January 03, 2015, 11:56 »
Has anyone already received "payment email" from Shutterstock (I mean ...earnings have been computed - and will be sent out by the 15th...) for December? It was supposed to be sent on January 2. I'm uneasy because of W8-BEN resubmissions. Thanks for info.

General Stock Discussion / Re: 1 time offer
« on: September 01, 2013, 15:23 »
If you think that this offer makes sense, you'd better play "like for like" games on Instagram. It's cheaper and it's all time offer.

I'm not microstock optimist. On the other I think that FB / SS deal is not bad step. Many of FB advertisers steal images on Google these days.
And - as long as the most frequent words in this timeline is iStock and Instagram I don't think that situation is that bad.

Adobe Stock / Re: Fotolia - Poor Sales
« on: August 19, 2013, 14:04 »
My sales are bad (well - it's not disaster I would say 70% of what I expected) but my "7 Days Rank" is relatively good.
It means a) FT sales are generally slower in August b) "7 Days Rank" figure is nonsense.

On the other hand - there may be some photographers that have few good images from their trip to Germany but never passed Shutterstock's entry test.


This was posted by Michael / Zoonar in October:
Shutterstock (NEW): Only Photos, which are not at Shutterstock, especially local content from german, austria and switzerland (middle europe), Creative and Illustration. Makes only sense for Photographers which are not at Shutterstock or doesn`t have the time to submit there.

Off Topic / Re: No Followers on Shutter- bad sign
« on: August 15, 2013, 15:49 »
4. Great, I don't want to be followed by copycats

I don't know - both in 2011 and 2012 August was best month of the year for me. This year it's worse but I still don't consider stop uploading.  But I would probably not upload travel & holiday images now as I suppose they would be lost amongst millions of others. Fortunately I have not been on vacation ten years.

Year ago I saw interesting discussion on Facebook. Sixteen years blonde was accused by local cooking website. She stoled their images and used them in her blog. Her tragicomical defence was like: "You idiots I haven't stolen anything. Have you ever heard of site called It's full of images and they are all free."

I doubt that social media could significantly increase sales on single Symbiostock sites as 99% of buyers come from Google images search. But I think that promoting of might be good idea. On the other hand - it's free of charge and every backlink counts.

you guys all seem to forget that nowadays to sell a product like hotcakes you NEED exposure, you need to be famous, popular, or at least well known in your market niche, no matter if because of a good or bad reputation.

once you're famous you can even ask donations on crowdfunding sites, you can write books, do interviews, get your BS heard and written in blogs and forums and newspapers, no matter what you actually say, it's all about getting your name known.

random readers who never heard about Yuri will believe the mumbo jumbo about him being the king of microstock, they will not double check if other image factories are bigger than him and if they keep a low profile to avoid unwanted attention by the tax office or whatever.

so may you like it or not he's doing the right thing and actually he's not even pushing his image too much as he's not updating his blog regularly and he's not posting cr-ap on FB or Twitter like so many others.

all he needs to keep his status now is to post a new press release to us villains and plebs once every 3 months, maybe coupled with an editorial article about the situation of the micro/macro market .. people will like it and write 50 pages of comments like here on MSG ...

Basically I agree. On the other hand - it's like calling David Beckham "King of football" and with all respect to him it would be nonsense. Marketing doesn't make somebody a king.

I don't have any problem with Yuri's plans but this "cult of personality II." doesn't entertain me anymore.

Be creative and send your best summer shot to the competition. Winning photo must be taken with the Scoopshot App. All competing photos can be viewed at You can vote for your own favorite there.
The winning shot will be selected by the "King of Microstock", Yuri Arcurs, on September 30, 2013.

General Stock Discussion / Re: July Earnings
« on: August 01, 2013, 02:56 »
Worst month since January

General Stock Discussion / Re: shutterstock
« on: July 31, 2013, 15:14 »
Thanks to all the people who have vested interests with  shutterstock or work for them and disrupt normal discussions and add  negative voting.

I understand some here make a bit of money with these clowns, others are working there and some have marketing interests with them.

Have fun and continue to send pictures for few dollars a year to crook exploiting your work to make millions. They need the 99% of idiots who will never make a living out of it.

Hey troll, if you have more fresh opinions that you want to share with world then give to thread more descriptive title. I would save few clicks and I need my mouse to be ready for uploading to Shutterstock clowns.

General Stock Discussion / Re: Shall We Say Goodbye?
« on: July 30, 2013, 13:41 »
I don't know.

But I think that our "agents" should focus on new buyers instead of fighting for current ones by cutting prices. I have - fortunately - few new clients and I would never believe how many people in small business have absolutely no idea about how cheap they can buy images. They are used to steal images because they still live in 1995 macrostock world. I hear "microstock" word so often that I find it more than obvious that everybody knows it. I can see Google ads of different MS sites every second but those who are not interested in photography etc. won't ever see them.
Living in socialist utopia - it would be great to see all agencies united in same goal - educate those who have never heard of "affordable" photos. It's nice to send them DMCA or invoices but it doesn't seem to work. I know there are thieves that want to stay thieves but there are others that would like to pay few dollars and feel safe.

18 / Re: Another BAD Deal from Getty / Istock
« on: July 29, 2013, 09:28 »
Some would say that normally thinking person / company would learn a lesson from contributors reaction to Google/Getty deal. I can't say I'm surprised. In fact I doubt that iS is able to surprise me anymore.

I don't know what these deals bring to iS - not mentioning contributors. It's like restaurant offering 90% discount and naively hoping that satisfied customer would come back again and pay regular price. They won't come back - all of them are like locusts - grazing down everything and moving to other minus XX% offer.


Many microstock contributors have more talent than Yuri, they take the same subject and same quality of photos and their subjects are more diversified ( like real world, fashion, food, landscape or artistic commercial value ...etc ).

FORGOT YURI,Yuri is not important in the microstock market now.
He's dead in the Microstock, when he is against microstock. Yuri Arcus loses his leader place in stock History.

Think deeper.

This is bit unfair. Yuri deserves his place in stock history - no matter if you love him or hate him. He significantly helped microstock to get where it is now - with both all its advantages and pluses and current problems.
Even though we are able to agree on action in cases like Getty/Google deal - and I really appreciate it - we all do what we feel is best for us as we have to feed our families first. Yuri decided to leave the world that he helped to create.  He thinks that he can't get more from MS so he decided to leave. It's business decision, there's no reason for personal attacks of jilted lover. Neither microstock nor me won't die because of it.

I must say that unhealthy relationship of many contributors to Yuri often reminded me of Life of Brian: "Tell us, Master!" "It is his gourd! We will carry it for you, Master!" and topical - "Come on master, tell us before you go!"

I would like to say "Good luck Yuri", but it  would be hypocritical . His luck would mean that iStock's position is stronger that most of us hope and that future of mobile phone photography is  bright while DSLRs would end up in museums. So I'd better say "Good luck Yuri - if you decide to come back".

No P+, C-, Vendetta Collections.

Deleted. Luis was faster

Off Topic / Re: Will the Cell Phone Replace the dSLR?
« on: July 26, 2013, 04:14 »
More of light is not the only reason for using strobes. But it's difficult to predict. If I would describe ten years ago how my cellphone will look like in 2013 I would probably wear straitjacket in mental hospital.

Off Topic / Re: Will the Cell Phone Replace the dSLR?
« on: July 26, 2013, 03:10 »
Not now. I've got my first iPhone few weeks ago and I must say that its camera admired by crowds totally disappointed me. But technology is moving that fast. Mobile phones are serious contender in editorial photography and will be probably good enough for outdoor shots soon. But I can hardly imagine studio equipped with all the strobes and ceiling systems and photographer with cell phone in hands (or even worse - on tripod).

I checked one of tasks on Scoopshot few days ago - "Was your baby born yesterday, just like the Royal Baby Boy? Please record a short VIDEO clip of your newborn and tell us a bit about him or her - name, birth place and date, height and weight and, perhaps, a few details about the birth"
There was lot of PHOTOS - full page of babies and children - 1, 3, 5, 10, 12 years old, cats, dogs, parrots. I didn't check all photos but at first sight I haven't seen ANY VIDEO with newborn baby as described in brief.
Being client I doubt I would come back to Scoopshot again.
Crowdsourcing is basically good idea but let's face it - crowd includes many idiots.

Believe it or not - few of us don't speak Danish. To be honest I find using Danish in this thread impolite.
  It is not necessary to speak Danish. But you can read it anyway. It is somewhere between English and German.
True. Now I can read it. In fact any language is somewhere between English, German, Russian, Chinese and Hungarian.

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